How To Can Venison

Originally Published in 2010

I canned five pints of venison over the weekend, using my pressure canner for the first time ever. I have to say, having such a large contraption hissing and steaming at you is quite intimidating! At times, it was downright scary. And my husband wasn’t helping. He kept telling me, “Uh, Kendra, maybe you should get back from that thing. No, seriously, Get Back!” He’s so funny.

A friend of ours who hunts had a freezer full of venison. Well, his freezer went out and all of the meat had thawed, so he had to do something with it. He gave us several ziploc bags full of meat, but I knew I couldn’t re-freeze it, and it was way too much to eat within a few days, so I determined to can it.

After looking online for a good recipe for canned venison, I found THIS ONE:

Ingredients per pint jar

  • 1 pound cubed lean venison
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 4 slices onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced green bell pepper (optional)


Place the uncooked venison into a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic; toss to combine. Stuff the venison into each canning jar along with the onions and bell peppers. Jars should be filled to within 1/2 inch of the top. Wipe rim with a clean, damp cloth, then screw on the lid and ring.

Place filled jars into your pressure canner and proceed as per manufacturerโ€™s directions. Process pints for 75 min at 10 lbs pressure (or quarts for 90 min. at 10 lbs pressure).

It was really easy, ’cause you don’t have to cook the meat or anything beforehand; just chop it up and pack the jars. I wondered if the meat would be cooked after being canned. YES! It is definitely cooked. It smelled SO good when it was finished.
I haven’t tried any yet, but I’m sure it will be yummy. All I’ll have to do is dump it out of the jars and heat it up before serving. Here are some ideas for using the meat:
  • Serve over rice, mashed potatoes, or noodles.
  • Eat it on a sandwich.
  • Make venison quesadillas, or tacos.
  • Use it in a stew or soup.
I’m pretty proud of myself! I’m even tempted to thaw out a bunch of the beef we have packed in our freezer to can as well. I also made deer jerky from what our friend gave us… but that’s another post!
Oh, and by the way, I used my canner on my flat top stove… even though you aren’t “supposed to”. They warn that the weight of the canner could crack the glass top stove surface, or that it will ruin the burner element due to the pot being larger than the burner. I just crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. I’ve had a lot of other people tell me that they’ve had no problem canning on their flat top stoves. I’m happy to say that I had no problem doing it as well.
Have you ever canned venison? Do you have a favorite recipe to share?
About Kendra 1123 Articles
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.


  1. I have been canning for thirty years have used alot of recipes but this one for the spices is the best not too over powering cause you want to leave this for the one actually finalizeingthe recipie

    • The only safe way to can low acid foods (meats, beans, veggies, meals-in-a-jar) is to use a pressure canner. A hot water bath canner won’t get hot enough to kill potentially deadly bacteria in these foods.

  2. Hi Kendra, I have a question about my pressure canner. I purchased an All American canner a year ago, and I have used it to make pasta sauce and canned boneless chicken, both times following the recipe. When my canner has reached the correct pressure, it leaks a small amount of steam/foam from one side of the canner. This did not effect the pressure readings, and correct pressure was maintained. Is that something that is considered ok, and is the food safe to eat? Also while I was canning the chicken, the power went off during the last 15 minutes of the cooking cycle. The canner retained pressure during that time. Do you think that the meat is safe to eat? Thank you, Allison

    • Hi Allison,

      Leakage from the lid can happen if it isn’t on exactly evenly. It won’t hurt your canned goods as long as the pressure is maintained. It’s okay that you lost power in the midst of canning as well, as long as the pressure stayed the same. Your food should be just fine. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I have had an American pressure cooker for over 30 years and my daughter also has one. If a new canner or one that has set awhile leaks steam around the edges, I lightly “grease” it with petroleum jelly when it is cooled. It has helped seal it. Also be sure to line up the arrows every time.

    • Rich,
      Canned meat will last for years as long as it has been canned properly and stored in a cool(ish) place out of direct sunlight. Over time the taste and texture will change, and the nutritional content will diminish, but it will still be safe to eat. Just make sure the lid still has a strong seal before consuming.

  3. I just started canning our deer this past weekend when our one son got 2 deer in one day. We ended up with 12 quarts and 12 pints of canned deer meat. It is very good and we will use it up probably within a month! (We have a family of 6) My recipe is as follows and is done by raw packing the cold venison:

    For a pint: Fill the jar 1/2 full with venison and then add 1 spoon of garlic powder, 1 spoon of onion powder, 1 beef bullion cube, 1/2 tsp salt. Then fill the rest of the jar to the neck of the jar leaving a 1″ head space. Place a heated seal on top and finger tighten the lid. Then process for 90 minutes once the regulator starts to gently rock.

    For a quart: Fill the jar 1/2 full with venison and then add 2 spoons of garlic powder, 2 spoons of onion powder, 3 beef bullion cubes, 1 tsp salt. Then fill the rest of the jar to the neck of the jar leaving a 1″ head space. Place a heated seal on top and finger tighten the lid. Then process for 120 minutes start the timing once the regulator starts to gently rock.

    • When you say fill the rest of the way to the head space. Is the ingredient venison?
      Sorry I am a newbie at this and don’t want to mess it up.

  4. I learned about this from a friend and it is my absolutely favorite way to cook and eat venison. The meat i s so tasty and tender! Being a working mom, the dinner on the table gets there that much quicker!

  5. A friend told me about canning deer meat and i got a chance to try and it is wonderful, she was asking me if i had heard of making and canning deer stew, if i had any old recipe book that had it in one but i’m not sure. I was wondering if you had ever heard of this and is it possable? And if so could you post or send me the directions.

  6. I have canned venison years ago and just started again. We have always added a small cube of beef tallow to the jars, a piece of onion and a clove of garlic, canning salt to taste. This is a great way to process that gnarly old buck, so tender after the pressure cook. Cheap too! Awesome quick meal, 10 minutes to the table!

  7. well here i go. just got the jars in the cooker. hope i dont blow the place up. did everything your recipe called for. now i have to wait and maybe have a beer to take away the anxiety. haha

  8. I’ve never canned it before, but plan to this fall now that I have a pressure canner. I was given some by my grandmother once and I used it to make venison bbq sandwiches. Just add sliced onion and the bbq sauce to meat in a crockpot. Simmer until onion is cooked and sauce is thick. Quick and easy!

  9. I can meat all the time and we like it better than frozen meat. In fact, venison is usually much more tender after being canned. I can venison stew as well as other stews. Canning is so smart as if you have a power outage you don’t have to worry about the meat in your freezer. Enjoy your new canner!

  10. womderful!!!! I am so happy for you ๐Ÿ™‚ I feel so blessed and complete when I have learned a new skill….gives me a sense of security for the future ๐Ÿ™‚ Love ya

  11. Thanks, this will come in handy this fall if son (14) gets another deer! We have frozen what came from the first ever one this year, and almost all of it is gone already lol. Told him to shoot a bigger one next year!

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